Straight Talk - Rob Evans & The Baldy's By Frank Addington, Jr.
Dec 19, 2007 - 1:23:55 PM
The Baldy Awards celebrate TEN YEARS!
If you have heard of the "Baldy Awards" they do each year at the annual Archery Trade Show, you probably know it has something to do with raising money for cancer research. Today we're talking with Rob Evans to learn more about this annual event, the history and how folks can help.
FA: Who founded the event and when did it get started?
I met Dr. Leonard the year before the Cancer Shoot idea was born. Doc found out I was a bow hunter when he stopped by my home and saw all the critters on the walls, mainly whitetails. So, I got him set-up and taught him "how-to" shoot a bow and taught him hunting techniques, we have hunted together ever since. One cold October morning while goose hunting, he told me about his cancer research at the U of M and how they needed private funds for pilot projects and to speed along the research efforts and not have to wait months and even years for grants and the like to keep the research moving forward.
The next morning I told him about my idea to raise money for his cause, Doc's answer was what?? You're going to charge people or companies $1,700 each to attend a driven pheasant and pigeon shoot. Provide free shells, dinner and have thousands of dollars worth of prizes, trips and so on and give away gear just to attend. I must admit when he played it back to me, it did sound impossible…but I said Doc, we will get a shell manufacturer to donate the shells, sporting good manufacturers/distributors/retailers to donate gear, guns, boats, ATV's bows etc. for raffle prizes an so on. Our first shoot netted $9,000 and all the attendees said, do this again, so we did and the second year netted $13,000. Today, our shoots average net between $300,000 and $500,000.
FA: What is the event and where is it held?
The ASL Cancer Shoot is a cancer fund raiser where participants pay $1,700 for a position at a peg (3 people). They get jackets, shooting gloves, unlimited shot shells, shooting glasses, hats, raffle-tickets, worth ($750); shooting bags and lots of stuff for attending. The shoot is in the afternoon at the prestigious Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club. At shoots end around 4:00pm the participants move to Hazeltine National Golf Club where by 5:30pm they start playing the raffles and various other fund raising events we have models to sell additional raffle tickets. At dinner we do our stuff. Doctors' Leonard and Saltzman tell everyone about the progress made the past year and what they expect for the following year. Then we introduce special guests and move into auctions and announcing raffle winners. Cabels' is our flagship donor and sponsor.
FA: Rob; with your involvement in the archery industry for many years, I guess it was only natural that you turned to the archery industry for help with this Cancer Fund raising idea…who is on board with ASL these days?
Well, the entire archery industry and hunting community, to be specific, I'll give you some names of companies, people etc; but by no means can I list them all and all are equally important to us. Alpine Archery, Archery Research, Bear Archery, Browning, Darton, Diamond by Bow Tech, Evotek Archery, Renegade Archery, High Country, Kodiak Outdoors, Martin Archery, Merlin USA, Parker Bows, PSE Archery, Whisper Creek, Ross Archery, Rytera Archery, and more.
Cabela's, Mossy Oak, Mathews, Bow Tech, Primos, Genmar Boat Co., Arctic Cat, Polais, Berretta, Streamlight, Gamehide, Realtree, Muzzy Products Corp., Bear Archery Escalade, Russell Boot Co., Duluth Pack Co., Carlson Print Group, ATA, Scent Lok, Easton, Knight Rifles, Thompson Center Fire Rifles, Magnum Research Co., Bushnell, Double Bull Archery, Nikon Optics, Super Valu Food Co., Timber LodgeSteak House, Triumph boats, Ranger boats, Lund boats, Crestliner boats, Wildlife Research Center, Sim Vibration Labs,(Limb Saver),North American Hunt Club, Bowhunting World, Bow Hunter Magazine, Hunting The North Country Magazine, Briggs & Morgan Law Firm, Kusak Crystal Company, Texas Hunt Company, Opti-Logic Company, Shannon Outdoors, Crooked Creek White Tails - Illinois Hunting Trips, Full Draw Outfitters - Turkey, Pronghorn, Elk, Mule Deer, Triple Q Outfitters - Kansas and Texas Hunting Trips, Hastings Brothers - Bear Hunt Trips, Allied Blacktop Corporation, Associated Mechanical Contractors, Wolf Creek Productions, Texas Trophy Hunter Show, Bushnell Outdoors, Scentlok Point Blank show; and so many others who without their collective support, we would be ten years behind with our research. Because of these efforts and these companies, people, and more, we are about to go to human trials, that's huge!!
FA: What specifically has the archery industry and their efforts produced?
You know, I'll put it this way. They collectively have been the "wind beneath our wings"! Through their efforts and the efforts of Cabela's and hundreds of companies and volunteers they have allowed Doc to go to the FDA ten years ahead of schedule, also, their efforts have led to several cancer models to study our genetically engineered bacteria's ability to fight and beat cancer. For Instance; neuroblastoma, the deadliest solid tumor found in children has now been penetrated and we kill it in mice! It dramatically improves survival. Example: Cancer Model 2004-2006. By; genetically engineering first, then invade the tumor. Forty percent of animals grow no tumor and the remaining sixty percent of animals generate ninety percent less tumor when compared to controls that die loaded with tumor. This break-through means a preventative system, thus, a colon, breast, or pancreas, etc. resection with possible micro metastases, would be stopped. And this form of therapy may prevent the formation of gross metastatic disease. We now are able to track with use of a gene which is fluorescent. The interleukin 2-gene, which carries the fluorescent gene, allows us to track the cells to indentify the cancer killing power and where killing occurs.
All of this and more brings us one more step toward a cure, plus a preventative system.
FA: What is the "Baldy Awards"?
Well, ten years ago at an event, John Sloan, a wonderful writer, was in attendance and while speaking, John Burgeson, of Wild Life Research, asked "how much to shave Sloan's head?" Sloan replies, "$4,000". Thinking we could never raise that. My wife, Lori had it done inside of two minutes. Well, we now had an impromptu "Baldy" volunteer and $4,000; but no clippers, what to do? Bow hunters are improvisers and improvise we did. We took a pack of donated Muzzy broadheads, got some soap and water, lathered up Sloan's head and skilled surgeon, that he is, Doc shaved Sloan bald with a Muzzy blade. No blood, just falling hair.
The 2007 Baldy's.
That event gave me the idea to continue and bring it to the ATA, where it has become a tradition. So far, we have raised over $400,000 shaving industry dignitaries and notables. Past "Baldy Award" recipients include: First year, John Sloan, Second year, Marilyn Shannon, Third year, Myles Keller, Fourth year, M.R. James, Fifth year, Will Primos, Sixth year, Aubrey Gale, Greg Sesselman, George Schrink, Phil Phillips, Seventh year, Bob Foulkrod, Dave Watson, Bill Winke, Eighth year, Greg Miller, Stan Potts, Pat Reeve, Michele Leqve, Deb Luzinski, Ninth year, Fred Eichler, Michael Waddell, Ralph Cianciarulo. This year, the tenth anniversary of the "Baldy's, we will be shaving the heads of: Archery Icon and Archery Hall of Fame inductee, Ann Clark, from Nikon Optics, everyone's favorite guy, Jon LaCorte, then Larry D. Jones, Tim Herold, then last but not least, Steve Gruber and Tom Nelson from Wolf Creek Productions and Limb Savers Outdoors, it's truly a hair rising experience.
Hall of Fame Archer and this year's only woman, Ann Clark put it this way.
"Perhaps you have heard that by my personal choice, I will have my hair cut and shaved for Dr. Leonard’s Cancer Research. I do not have cancer but I have lost 5 members of my family to cancer; my father with tongue and throat cancer, my youngest sister at age 58 from pancreatic cancer, two brothers and a sister-in-law from lung cancer. Also many friends. Truth is most of us have lost friends or loved ones from cancer. This is my opportunity to request funds from all of you to help this crusade and sponsor my hair cut with your donations regardless of the amount. Every dollar helps!"
FA: How can readers get involved?
If they are interested in helping, they can send a donation to:
ASL Cancer Fund-501C # 20-2924536
606 24th Avenue South, Suite #818
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55454
Dr. Leonard will send them a "thank you" letter, personally. If its a company that makes a product, we could use for raffles etc, they could send them along to us. If they would like to attend the shoot, please contact us at (715)-772-3322. They can, also, check out our website at: www.aslcancerfund.org
The Cancer Shoot-Fund is a network of people pulling together to help victims of cancer, trying to find a cure and when helping with donations they are investing in their own future and that of their loved ones.